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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

First Trial in Freddie Gray case ends in Hung Jury


Judge Barry Williams declared a mistrial in the case against Officer William Porter after the jury reported that it failed twice to reach a unanimous verdict. Prosecutors now must decide whether or not they will retry the case, and so far a new trial date has not been set.

Officer Porter is the first of six Baltimore police officers to be tried in association with the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody last April. Officer Porter’s trial is important because it has been said that it will set the tone for the trials of the following five officers, which will take place as scheduled early in the new year. Sources say that a retrial is likely as prosecutors in the following trials would like to use Officer Porter as a witness, and Officer Porter cannot be forced to testify if his own case is not resolved.

Protesting was reported in multiple areas of the city on Wednesday night, with the vast majority being peaceful demonstrations. Groups of protestors were reportedly praying and chanting in the streets, and only two arrests were made.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake released a statement on Wednesday following the announcement of the mistrial urging Baltimore residents to remain calm and to “respect the outcome of the judicial process.” She made it clear that it was residents’ constitutional right to peacefully protest, but that should any protests become destructive, the city’s forces were prepared to intervene.

Baltimore’s Police Commissioner Kevin Davis gave a public statement on Wednesday stating that “protesters who are lawfully assembled have a friend in the Baltimore Police Department.”

Gray’s family also responded to the mistrial. “We thank this hard-working jury for their service to the public, their quest for justice, their personal sacrifice of their time and effort We are not at all upset with them, neither should the public be upset. They did the best they could,” stated Richard Shipley, Gray’s stepfather.

Officer Porter only responded briefly to the press following the declaration of the mistrial. “It’s not over,” Porter said in a brief phone call with The Baltimore Sun. He stated that he would not discuss details of the case with the press.

The Greyhound will continue to follow this case as it progresses in the following weeks.

CNN contributed to this report.


Photo from Flickr/Jimmy Emerson, DVM.

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First Trial in Freddie Gray case ends in Hung Jury